Friday, 29 June 2012

BOFP calculations on Lords reform

The House of Lords Reform Bill was launched this week for its first reading in parliament around 101 years too late - poor even by usual government standards.

The Bill sets out the process for electing the majority of the members of the Lords - a total of 360, leaving the the rest as 90 appointed crony Lords, 12 spiritual Lords and some ministerial Lords. While my maths is not always great and I can be a bit pedantic at times, while the Guardian and others say that 80% will be elected, a quick tot up on my 'back of fag packet' calculator shows that this is less than 80% - probably around 75% after a PM has brought in 20 of his friends to be ministers. Total senators: 360 + 90 + 12+ 20 = 482

Equally strange is the impression in the media that the pay of the members of the Lords will be cut to £300 per day. It is already £300 per day - my BOFP calculator says that this is not a cut. The impression is being driven by an initial proposal to pay the senators £60k which seems to have been reduced by 25% to allow for a 25% increase in the number of senators.

Of course, as my BOFP knows 25% in one direction is not the same as 25% in the other direction. To be clear the BOFP says 360 x £60k = £21.6m and 482 x £45k = £21.7m. Of course if there are no ministerial appointments then the figure is 462 x £45k = £20.8m. Either way the difference is marginal and only just shows up on the BOFP.

Anyway, despite it being 101 years too late, allowing at least 102 people in that shouldn't be there and costing about the same as before, this is excellent news.

Of course the Tories hate it. Probably because it was in their last 3 general election manifestos and therefore they had no intention of seeing it happen.

And the Labour MPs hate it. Probably because they have filled the Lords with their ex-MPs, their friends and with people who have paid for their seats. I doubt they want to give a refund.

Lib Dems will hate it too when they get wiped out at the next general election...

The majority of people are in favour of electing senators to the House of Lords as are the Green Party.